Community//

Where to Draw The Line

Leaders have a responsibility to stop bureaucratic nonsense

Organizations with leaders who don't question and ignore why they are doing nonsense work are complicit in perpetuating unnecessary bureaucracy 

Don’t get suckered into doing work for the machine when you could be working toward goals! A common business pitfall is serving bureaucracy over projects. It devastates productivity and enthusiasm and can creep into companies everywhere.

Luckily the warning signs are easy to spot. Your first early warning sign is when your leadership starts using pronouns to give out tasks instead of taking personal ownership. If you are doing work because “They” asked for it, sound the alarm!!

People rarely take ownership in a bureaucracy, we replace accountability with pronouns like They or We.

Winning teams need leaders willing to get behind process, procedures, and orders. Leaders willing to say “I” need this. Seeking responsibility because they understand the why behind the work.

Orders in the military come from somewhere, if you don’t know where they come from and why it applies to you it can lead to confusion or missed context. Both of which can be deadly on the battlefield.

Your office is not so different.

As organizations grow it is natural to add rules and policies. In fact It’s helpful to optimize efficiency, provide a uniform and succinct brand, and create culture that differentiates you from the competition. Just don’t let it become an anchor, you know that thing below the water that you holds you in place, drags you down and no one can actually see.

“They need it done”, “It was like that when we got here”, “That’s the way we do things”, “It is, what it is”.

Please stop, most of these phrases are just nonsense.

Leaders, be responsible for pulling out the weeds that clog up the system. If you don’t know the “Why” of a rule, look it up, make sure it still applies. Check the source, seek to understand. And then take ownership of enforcing it.

Companies don’t operate in a static, frozen market. They are constantly adapting to meet new client and consumer demands. Resist the siren’s song of comfort and safety blindly following everything “they” need doing without actually checking to see if it makes sense?

“I need this,” can help change an environment. Leaders take accountability.

Get in there, challenge convention a little. After all, “They” can put cover sheets on their own TPS reports. You’ve got real work to do.

To keep the conversation going and build leadership everywhere hit “Share”

We do the things we talk about.

Originally published at www.mlmethods.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.